Rockies starter Kyle Freeland stepped up his rehab of a Spring Training left shoulder strain during a bullpen session Tuesday at Oracle Park in San Francisco, with manager Bud Black witnessing.
Freeland threw his first bullpen session on Saturday, at about 85 percent intensity. Black said Freeland, with hitters standing in the box (but not swinging), had “solid velocity on his fastball, and good action on his changeup.” The next step is a simulated game, most likely during the team’s next homestand, with an eye toward beginning a Minor League rehab assignment in early May.
“I feel great, first and foremost -- that’s the main thing that I feel happy about,” Freeland said. “I’ve tried to stay as positive as I possibly can throughout this whole process. I did this a couple of times with some injuries, never with the arm. But keep in a positive mindset about the whole rehab process, getting through it, doing everything correctly, making when I'm able to come back, I feel 100 percent.”
Speaking for the first time since he left a March 23 game against the Athletics after throwing a warmup pitch, then grabbing the back of his shoulder in pain, Freeland said he was glad the MRI revealed less damage than originally feared.
“It felt like a knife got put in the back of my shoulder,” he said. “When I released that curveball, it's no feeling that you want to have or you want to see a teammate have, or someone you're playing against have. It's kind of like Buddy said, it's a gut-wrenching feeling, because in the moment you don't know exactly what's wrong. Thankfully, when we got the MRI scan back, it was a best-case scenario.”